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TomS

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Problem is, doing a new program start now means those ships will be in the fleet for years with no main gun ammunition at all. That's fucking absurd.
 

Grey Havoc

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https://blog.usni.org/2016/11/09/zumwalt-the-light-grey-elephant
 

fredymac

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Grey Havoc said:
https://blog.usni.org/2016/11/09/zumwalt-the-light-grey-elephant
If you only have 3 ships using this gun and there are no plans on installing it on any other, and if the political origin for the gun (and ammunition) was land operations support fire, a senior level naval official might reasonably be thinking why bother? Missiles and aircraft can perform the land support role while the railgun continues to mature and eventually step in to replace the entire system. The DDG is purpose built to provide massive electrical power which can be readily used to operate the railgun. In an era of tight budgets, I would guess there will be significant internal debate on cost/benefit trades. An interim solution based on minimum cost which can provide adequate performance while waiting for a replacement technology would seem to offer a politically palatable compromise. I would suspect someone writing an official USNI blog might have access to senior managers who might be able to provide background on the rationale. However, that would actually require some real work.
 

TomS

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The problem is there are no "minimal cost" alternatives here. Even "just" trying to shoehorn Excalibur into the AGS magazines is going to be a massive undertaking. You'll probably have to build something like a sabot to "pad out" the Excalibur round to match the shape of LRLAP, since the AGS ammo handling system apparently can't deal with any other shape. And you'll have to make a propellant charge that fills out the AGS chamber while not overloading the projectile (the AGS wants semi-fixed ammo, while the Army is using modular charges). Plus there's the question of whether Excalibur even meets Navy HERO and insensitive munition specs, whether it's compatible with a 100% unmanned loading cycle, etc.

And at the same time, the Navy is still spinning its wheels on any possible procurement of 127mm precision rounds. With limited money, why spend it on 6 tubes instead of 100?
 

marauder2048

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TomS said:
Plus there's the question of whether Excalibur even meets Navy HERO and insensitive munition specs, whether it's compatible with a 100% unmanned loading cycle, etc.
This is what drove a lot of LRLAP's cost particularly the conflicting requirements of slow/fast cookoff due to a thermal event while at the same time
remaining functional after ~ two hours in a hot gun barrel.

The guidance requirements accounted for ~ 40% (possibly slightly more) of the total cost.

All of which would have been tolerable once amortized across the quantities required for envisioned fleet of DD(X) and CG(X) shooters.
 

DrRansom

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So, navalizing was a dominant cost?

The GPS was solved with Excaliber 155 shells, perhaps there could have been a saving there by not duplicating work.
 

marauder2048

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DrRansom said:
So, navalizing was a dominant cost?

The GPS was solved with Excaliber 155 shells, perhaps there could have been a saving there by not duplicating work.
The Navy has more exacting IM requirements than the Army but there was an effort early on to leverage GNC, ESAD, and HOB sensor work for Excalibur.
I don't know how much actual commonality and cost reduction was achieved. But the image below highlights some of the scale challenges.

I'm curious to see if the Army's XM1113 RAP round + PGK could be leveraged since it's the most IM compliant round developed by the Army to-date and
is designed to survive much higher muzzle velocities (~ 1200 m/s).
 

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Does anyone know whether the two gun mounts and their magazines are "plug-in modules or whether they are an integral part of the ships' structure ?

IF they are plug-in modules PRESUMABLY other modules (whether missile or gun) could be substituted - an integral structural support framework would make things much more difficult.

.
 

TomS

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They're not modular to the degree of a MEKO or Stanflex box. The magazine spaces are several decks down in the hull and there are probably non-gun spaces above them, around the ammo hoists.
 

Moose

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The automated ammunition system was designed, initially, to be adaptable to a wide range of rounds. And BAE has been advertising a variant of the system which is compatible with 5" ammunition for the Mk45. So the potential is there to replace the 155s with another gun without having to cut the bow off the DDGs and start over.
 

marauder2048

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Moose said:
The automated ammunition system was designed, initially, to be adaptable to a wide range of rounds. And BAE has been advertising a variant of the system which is compatible with 5" ammunition for the Mk45. So the potential is there to replace the 155s with another gun without having to cut the bow off the DDGs and start over.
Can you post the literature for this? I recall seeing the AGS-Light proposal which was a replacement for the Mk45 on the Flight III Burkes that fired LRLAP.
 

TomS

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Moose said:
The automated ammunition system was designed, initially, to be adaptable to a wide range of rounds. And BAE has been advertising a variant of the system which is compatible with 5" ammunition for the Mk45. So the potential is there to replace the 155s with another gun without having to cut the bow off the DDGs and start over.
The only thing I've seen on that front is the idea of saboting the 5-inch Hypervelocity Projectile to fit AGS. But that seems like a huge waste -- you get more range (70km from AGS vs 50 km from a Mk 45 Mod 4), but a 50% drop in RoF (10 rpm vs 20 rpm) and no increase in terminal effect, in exchange for a several-fold increase in size and cost of the launcher.

I should have seen the writing on the walls for AGS back in the very beginning of the DD-21 program, when the Navy seriously considered referring to AGS as a Trainable Rocket Launcher rather than a gun system. Once they started down that path, they really should have just gone with an actual rocket launcher. A reloadable MLRS would be more effective and easier to field than AGS.
 

Moose

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marauder2048 said:
Moose said:
The automated ammunition system was designed, initially, to be adaptable to a wide range of rounds. And BAE has been advertising a variant of the system which is compatible with 5" ammunition for the Mk45. So the potential is there to replace the 155s with another gun without having to cut the bow off the DDGs and start over.
Can you post the literature for this? I recall seeing the AGS-Light proposal which was a replacement for the Mk45 on the Flight III Burkes that fired LRLAP.
The Type 26 GCS' Mk45 will have ammunition handling system heavily based on that of the DDG-1000, adapted to fit the smaller ship and different rounds. I'm not sitting here and saying it's "simple" or trivial to do, but obviously the potential to make changes without going back to square one is there.

And here's the AGS Lite proposal from a few years ago.
 

Moose

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TomS said:
Moose said:
The automated ammunition system was designed, initially, to be adaptable to a wide range of rounds. And BAE has been advertising a variant of the system which is compatible with 5" ammunition for the Mk45. So the potential is there to replace the 155s with another gun without having to cut the bow off the DDGs and start over.
The only thing I've seen on that front is the idea of saboting the 5-inch Hypervelocity Projectile to fit AGS. But that seems like a huge waste -- you get more range (70km from AGS vs 50 km from a Mk 45 Mod 4), but a 50% drop in RoF (10 rpm vs 20 rpm) and no increase in terminal effect, in exchange for a several-fold increase in size and cost of the launcher.

I should have seen the writing on the walls for AGS back in the very beginning of the DD-21 program, when the Navy seriously considered referring to AGS as a Trainable Rocket Launcher rather than a gun system. Once they started down that path, they really should have just gone with an actual rocket launcher. A reloadable MLRS would be more effective and easier to field than AGS.
The navalized MLRS mount was considered pretty seriously as far back as the Arsenal Ship debate. I don't see the AGS-HVP as an ideal solution, rather as a decent enough bridge toward the full-EMRG HVP down the road rather than having to replace the guns "now" and either getting a railgun which isn't ready or another powder gun which will itself get pulled off the ships down the road. And this is me being optimistic about rails, the doomsayers still insist it's a debacle and we'll all wish the DDGs were armed with low-velocity 8" powder guns 20 years down the road. We'll see.
 

TomS

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Moose said:
TomS said:
I should have seen the writing on the walls for AGS back in the very beginning of the DD-21 program, when the Navy seriously considered referring to AGS as a Trainable Rocket Launcher rather than a gun system. Once they started down that path, they really should have just gone with an actual rocket launcher. A reloadable MLRS would be more effective and easier to field than AGS.
The navalized MLRS mount was considered pretty seriously as far back as the Arsenal Ship debate. I don't see the AGS-HVP as an ideal solution, rather as a decent enough bridge toward the full-EMRG HVP down the road rather than having to replace the guns "now" and either getting a railgun which isn't ready or another powder gun which will itself get pulled off the ships down the road. And this is me being optimistic about rails, the doomsayers still insist it's a debacle and we'll all wish the DDGs were armed with low-velocity 8" powder guns 20 years down the road. We'll see.
Yeah, ArShip was pretty contemporary with the beginnings of DD-21. IIRC, MLRS looked unattractive at the time because the rounds are big and were dominated by the submunition warhead, which was not ideal for direct fire support, the problem set the Marines were demanding a solution to. Fifteen years and a war in Afghanistan later, GMLRS-Unitary makes this a lot more attractive (though it still weights 3-4 times as much as an LRLAP round). OTOH, why design a dedicated naval MLRS launcher when POLAR (GMLRS with extended rocket motor) could be launched from almost any VLS cell?

The problem I have with HVP in any form (5-inch and AGS) is that it isn't actually a system, it's just a study project. AFAIK, all they've done so far are some ballistic test firings for gun compatibility and some terminal effects demonstrations. To actually turn the current project into a fieldable system, they have to revisit every single issue that cropped up in ERGM and LRLAP and solve them for the worst case situation in multiple guns, plus deal with whatever unique issues come up with heavy saboted rounds at Mach 3+. Sure, the fact that they've done most of it before helps, but it's still a minimum of several years to develop, even if they go sole-source. If they compete it, we're a decade away, at least.
 

marauder2048

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In fairness, GMLRS (not "Plus", not POLAR) is still two years out from getting an IM compliant rocket motor so I can understand
the lukewarm response that LM got from the Navy. Then there's internal corporate dynamics with LRLAP at LM .
 

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https://news.usni.org/2016/11/22/uss-zumwalt-sidelined-panama
 

bobbymike

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https://news.usni.org/2016/12/13/raytheon-excalibur-round-set-replace-lrlap-zumwalts
 

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Guided-Missile Destroyer USS Zumwalt Arrives in San Diego

https://news.usni.org/2016/12/08/destroyer-uss-zumwalt-arrives-san-diego
 

fredymac

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seruriermarshal said:
Guided-Missile Destroyer USS Zumwalt Arrives in San Diego

https://news.usni.org/2016/12/08/destroyer-uss-zumwalt-arrives-san-diego
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE77A3rYH3I
 

bobbymike

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https://news.usni.org/2016/12/21/interview-capt-james-kirk-uss-zumwalt
 

Grey Havoc

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bobbymike said:
https://news.usni.org/2016/12/21/interview-capt-james-kirk-uss-zumwalt
The Change of Command ceremony: http://navaltoday.com/2016/12/21/captain-james-kirk-is-no-longer-the-commander-of-us-navys-super-stealth-destroyer/
 

bobbymike

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https://www.defensetech.org/2017/03/07/report-navy-base-stealthy-zumwalt-destroyers-south-korea/?ESRC=deftech.sm
 

bobbymike

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http://www.realcleardefense.com/2017/04/28/navy_begins_weapons_tech_activation_of_uss_zumwalt_292586.html
 

fredymac

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On board the Zumwalt but no views of the CIC or missile hatches.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PaDQmda03M
 

bobbymike

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http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-navys-stealthy-zumwalt-class-destoyer-americas-new-21713
 

sferrin

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bobbymike said:
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-navys-stealthy-zumwalt-class-destoyer-americas-new-21713
Should be the Tico replacement. It's the only class that can realistically field railguns and DEWs.
 

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sferrin said:
bobbymike said:
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-navys-stealthy-zumwalt-class-destoyer-americas-new-21713
Should be the Tico replacement. It's the only class that can realistically field railguns and DEWs.
Are you defending this money pit masquerading as a destroyer? This and LCS have set the USN back 20 years by virtue of what we could have and should have built.
 

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Airplane said:
Are you defending this money pit masquerading as a destroyer? This and LCS have set the USN back 20 years by virtue of what we could have and should have built.
LCS I'd agree with but DDG-1000? I'm not completely sold on the hull design but it has a lot of power capacity and other improvements we need for new destroyers/cruisers and would have been quite impressive on its own if so many items hadn't been cut over the years.

The 155mm AGS may not have been a bad idea if we were going to have it on 30+ ships as originally envisioned.
 

sferrin

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Airplane said:
sferrin said:
bobbymike said:
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-navys-stealthy-zumwalt-class-destoyer-americas-new-21713
Should be the Tico replacement. It's the only class that can realistically field railguns and DEWs.
Are you defending this money pit masquerading as a destroyer? This and LCS have set the USN back 20 years by virtue of what we could have and should have built.
Not sure what you've been smoking but aside from LCS you couldn't be more wrong. The ship itself is exactly what is needed. The way the USN has mishandled the program is why it's where it is today. That's what happens when you kick the can down the road for over a decade and then half-ass it. I know it's fashionable to bash the Zumwalt because it looks funny but it's far FAR more prepared for the future than the Burkes. The Burke Flight III is like the "Silent Hornet"- a desperate attempt to keep an already dated design relevant. Easily one of the USN's stupider decisions (almost as bad as sinking the entire Spruance class, VLS and all).
 

Triton

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"How the Navy’s Zumwalt-Class Destroyers Ran Aground"
by Mike Fredenburg December 19, 2016 4:00 AM

Source:
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443165/zumwalt-class-navy-stealth-destroyer-program-failure
 

sferrin

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Triton said:
"How the Navy’s Zumwalt-Class Destroyers Ran Aground"
by Mike Fredenburg December 19, 2016 4:00 AM

Source:
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443165/zumwalt-class-navy-stealth-destroyer-program-failure
"Adding insult to injury, absolutely no one has been held accountable for this budget-busting debacle."

Clearly the pinnacle of objectivity. The article is pretty much an extended rant against, well, everything.

"As we look across a range of big-budget defense programs, such as the CH-53K helicopter, the Marines’ Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, the Littoral Combat Ship, the Osprey tilt-rotor program, the F-22, the F-35, etc., we see this pattern repeated over and over and over again. Not only is there zero accountability, but this behavior is rewarded. Indeed, in today’s military, successfully expanding a program beyond its initial budget is viewed highly favorably in terms of rank advancement, as well as being valued by defense contractors looking to hire “team players” who can effectively wield influence with their former colleagues on their behalf. It should go without saying that whistle-blowers are not considered “team players” by senior military commanders and the defense-contractor executives who increasingly happen to be former senior military commanders."

The fact remains, the Zumwalt design is the one that should be going forward, not yet another version of a design already showing it's age and ill-equipped for the future.
 

Triton

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sferrin said:
Triton said:
"How the Navy’s Zumwalt-Class Destroyers Ran Aground"
by Mike Fredenburg December 19, 2016 4:00 AM

Source:
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443165/zumwalt-class-navy-stealth-destroyer-program-failure
"Adding insult to injury, absolutely no one has been held accountable for this budget-busting debacle."

Clearly the pinnacle of objectivity. The article is pretty much an extended rant against, well, everything.

"As we look across a range of big-budget defense programs, such as the CH-53K helicopter, the Marines’ Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, the Littoral Combat Ship, the Osprey tilt-rotor program, the F-22, the F-35, etc., we see this pattern repeated over and over and over again. Not only is there zero accountability, but this behavior is rewarded. Indeed, in today’s military, successfully expanding a program beyond its initial budget is viewed highly favorably in terms of rank advancement, as well as being valued by defense contractors looking to hire “team players” who can effectively wield influence with their former colleagues on their behalf. It should go without saying that whistle-blowers are not considered “team players” by senior military commanders and the defense-contractor executives who increasingly happen to be former senior military commanders."

The fact remains, the Zumwalt design is the one that should be going forward, not yet another version of a design already showing it's age and ill-equipped for the future.
I thought that you would be distracted by that assertion and then ignore all the other points made in the article. The seaworthiness of the tumblehome hull is still in dispute, the need for stealth is still in dispute, the need for ship-based landing fire support is still in dispute, the claims of reduced operating costs and reduced crew size have not been studied and are in still dispute. Yet you claim that the Zumwalt-class design is the one that should be going forward. It seems that the only reason to proceed with the Zumwalt-class design is the presence of the 78 megawatt array of four gas-turbine generators that could potentially power rail guns and directed-energy weapons.
 

sferrin

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Triton said:
I thought that you would be distracted by that assertion and then ignore all the other points made in the article.
No reason it should go unmentioned. On the contrary it speaks volumes to the author's lack of objectivity, not to mention complete ignorance of prior first-of-class issues in other ships.

Triton said:
The seaworthiness of the tumblehome hull is still in dispute
It passed it's sea trials so no, it's not in dispute.

Triton said:
the need for stealth is still in dispute,
By who? The USN?

Triton said:
the need for ship-based landing fire support is still in dispute
So why does the Flight III Burke have a 5" gun? Why is the USN working on railguns? (That only the Zumwalts are equipped to handle BTW.)

Triton said:
the claims of reduced operating costs and reduced crew size have not been studied and are in still dispute.
Again, by who? The USN?

Triton said:
Yet you claim that the Zumwalt-class design is the one that should be going forward. It seems that the only reason to proceed with the Zumwalt-class design is the presence of the 78 megawatt array of four gas-turbine generators that could potentially power rail guns and directed-energy weapons.
LOL! You say that like you're talking about the color of paint. Add to that obvious, very important detail, the larger hanger/flight deck, larger Mk57 PLS, more room for future upgrades, lower RCS, ability to field larger radar arrays, etc. etc. etc.

Lastly, the catch-all, "it's in dispute" is meaningless as the same could be said of virtually any detail of any piece of equipment. "The optimum caliber of rifle round is in dispute, therefore they all are in dispute, and they all suck". See how that works? What matters is WHO is disputing it.
 

bring_it_on

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Triton said:
I thought that you would be distracted by that assertion and then ignore all the other points made in the article. The seaworthiness of the tumblehome hull is still in dispute, the need for stealth is still in dispute, the need for ship-based landing fire support is still in dispute, the claims of reduced operating costs and reduced crew size have not been studied and are in still dispute. Yet you claim that the Zumwalt-class design is the one that should be going forward. It seems that the only reason to proceed with the Zumwalt-class design is the presence of the 78 megawatt array of four gas-turbine generators that could potentially power rail guns and directed-energy weapons.
Look at this way. A sub-optimal 3 class program comes in at 200% of the Unit Total Program procurement cost of the DDG-51 FIII (Using FY 2020 purchase for the -51 as the baseline). Now what if you could get this down to say 125-130% would spending the extra 25-30% be worth it? In return for this cost you get a more future proof vessel that can carry a more powerful radar and can be modified to actually optimally carry some of the technology that the Navy is developing. This would obviously require shaving a $1+ Billion of the unit cost of the Zumwalt but if you were to buy 2 a year say for a 20-30 ship production run this may well be possible.
 

FighterJock

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Any idea if the Zumwalt will be allowed for export? Being full of high technology and stealth, one would think that the US Navy would put similar conditions that the US Air Force put on the F-22.
 

bring_it_on

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I don't think its up for export but it is now the right time to begin to define a DDG-1000 based vessel as a potential future surface combatant and how to modify the design and get its cost down for a larger production batch to be acquired in the future.
 

Arjen

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FighterJock said:
Any idea if the Zumwalt will be allowed for export?
Destroyer construction is an area where nations have irreconcilable differences about what's advisable or affordable. I doubt there would be any takers.
 
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